Foodies, antiquarians, Italophiles... lend me your ears!

Posted by Marie Scarfo on Thu, May 04, 2017

Last week, author Crystal King's debut novel, Feast of Sorrow, was released into the world. The novel is centered around ancient Roman foodie and bon vivantApicius, who threw lavish parties for Caesar Tiberius and was the inspiration for the world's first known cookbook. In its first week on the shelves, Feast of Sorrow - set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family - has been hailed as "a big, fat, juicy read"; "a delight to the senses ... to be savored & devoured"; and "truly a feast for readers."...

Sounds more like a 5-star restaurant menu than a novel, right? Well, it's well-deserved. In addition to being a writer and self-proclaimed Italophile, Crystal is also a total foodie who, during the writing process, took a deep dive into ancient Roman cookery and came out on the other side with not only a successful debut novel, but also a personally curated cookbook of recipes from the original ancient text, Apicius, re-created by (and for) modern-day cooks!

ATasteOf_FeastOfSorrow_cropped.jpg<-- This very special text will be provided - free of charge - to anyone who attends our very special Modern Taste of Ancient Rome event with Crystal King and Chef Patrick Campbell on May 9!

Some of you have already gotten a sneak peek at Crystal's recipe for Chicken in Dill Sauce (not on our e-mailing list? Click here to sign up!), and you'll find her recipe for Honey Fritters in this great NPR article. But we at the BCAE want to offer something for the more adventurous foodie. From A Taste of Feast of Sorrow, edited by Crystal King, we present:

bloodsausage pine nut.jpgBlood Sausage with Pine Nut Puree and Apician Salad*
by Chef Patrick Campbell
*This recipe will not necessarily be served during the program.

Chef Campbell has been delighting diners in Boston for years, most notably at No. 9 Park and Café Art-Science. This recipe is definitely for the more adventurous chef! Blood sausage can be found in the Apicius cookbook (2.3.2) but, strangely, the ancient recipe also includes hard-boiled egg yolks. For this version, he went with a more modern blood sausage recipe, with an accompanying pine nut puree and a salad vinaigrette of which Apicius himself would have been proud.

For the blood sausage

❧ 2 lbs. ground pork
❧ 2 lbs. pork fatback
❧ 1 cup fresh pigs blood
❧ 1 onion
❧ 1 egg
❧ ¼ cup heavy cream
❧ 20 grams (approx. 3 ½ tsp) sea salt
❧ 5 grams (a little less than 3 tsp) black pepper
❧ 1 tablespoons cornmeal
❧ Pinch nutmeg
❧ Pinch cinnamon
❧ Pinch mace
❧ Pinch clove
❧ hog casings

All of the hard spices should be toasted and ground into a powder. They should, combined, equal about 2 teaspoons.


1.To make the sausage, roughly chop the onion and pork fat, add to a pot and cover with water. Salt liberally and simmer for ten minutes until tender. Let cool completely and pulse in a food processor to result in a coarse paste.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix ground pork, fatback and onion mixture on low until well incorporated.

3. Add sea salt, corn meal and spices. Once mixed, slowly incorporate the egg, pigs blood and cream until well combined.

4. Using a sausage stuffer, stuff the hog casings that have been soaked and rinsed in cold water. You can either form links or leave in large string. Carefully pierce the sausage casing about every half inch of the sausage and poach in very gently simmering water to 160 degrees, remove from water and allow to cool overnight.

For the Pine Nut Puree

❧ 1 cup pine nuts
❧ 1 clove garlic with the germ removed
❧ 1 tablespoon preserved lemon
❧ ½ cup grated pecorino romano
❧ salt and pepper
❧ extra virgin olive oil





1. Put the nuts in a small sauce pot and add olive oil until it reaches half way up the nuts. Toast on
medium until light golden brown.

2. Season with salt and pepper, add garlic clove and bring off the heat.

3. Once the oil has cooled for 2 mins cover the nut mixture with water and bring back to the heat. Boil until the nuts have softened and the water has reduced by half.

4. Puree in a high speed blender with preserved lemon and pecorino, season with salt and pepper
and let cool.

For the Apician Salad

❧ Assorted chicory leaves such endive, puntarella, frisée, radicchio, or escarole, picked through,
thoroughly washed and dried.
❧ 1 large artichoke cleaned to the heart and place in acidulated water
❧ (water with a small amount of vinegar or lemon added)
❧ picked herbs such as dill, fennel, parsley, marjoram
❧ anchovy fillets
❧ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
❧ 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
❧ 2 tablespoon colatura or fish sauce (Thai Nam Pla or Vietnamese Nuoc Nam Mhi)
❧ First clean all the greens and pick the herbs and set aside.
❧ To make the vinaigrette combine all the ingredients, whisk, and set aside.


1. Sear the sausage in a heavy pan and place in a pre-heated oven 375º until hot in the middle
(approx 8 minutes).

2. Smear a plate with the pine nut puree and place the sausage on top of the puree.

3. Dress the greens, herbs, and toss with the artichoke that has been shaved on a mandoline and
lightly dress and arrange in a neat pile in the middle of the plate.

4. Top with anchovy fillets and serve.







Join Crystal King and Chef Patrick Campbell for a culinary walk through Ancient Roman history!

A Modern Taste of Ancient Rome
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 6:00 - 9:00pm
Tuition*: $65.00    |   Member Cost: $55.00
Materials Cost: $30.00
*Attendees will also recieve a complimentary copy of Crystal's cookbook, A Taste of Feast of Sorrow!

Copies of Feast of Sorrow will be available for purchasing - and signing! - at the event.



Topics: Boston food, BCAE Recipe, Boston chefs, Boston cultural events, Boston dining, recipes, Boston classes, Boston event, Boston publishing, BCAE Tasting classes, BCAE Book signings, Book signings, literature, history, special event, Ancient Rome, Lectures, Boston books, Boston book signings, Boston food events, food and wine